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Everton and Manchester United Thriller Overshadowed by Injury Time Controversy

Manchester United and Everton contested one of the most entertaining games of the Premier League season so far at Goodison Park this weekend.

After taking the lead only to let it slip to a two goal deficit, Everton launched a late rally to score two injury time goals and earn a 3-3 draw in a game that encapsulated all the qualities that make the Premier League one of the most entertaining leagues in the world.

David Moyes Manager Everton 2010/11 Aston Villa V Everton (1-0) 29/08/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

David Moyes Was Livid at the End of the game despite heroic comeback

 The game in which both sides had periods of dominance and created chances was clouded by some confusion at the end of the game, which I think reignites a minor issue the governing bodies should amend to make the rules clearer and less subjective.

Despite all the action and goals it was the final acts of the game and the referees decision to end the game just as Everton broke and Phil Jagielka had a real goal scoring opportunity.

The incident in question occurred in the dying moments of injury time as both sides went in search of a late winner, a Manchester United chance was snuffed out and Everton raced forward on the counter attack. Quick passing put Phil Jagielka through around 20 yards out and although it was not noticed by the fans or the majority of the players, the referee blew the whistle just as the through ball that released him was kicked.

Thankfully for the referee and the game Everton wasted this chance as Edwin Van De Saar made a comfortable save from what in the end was a tame effort, yet this did not stop David Moyes being livid with the referee and his decision to end the game where he did. When in reality he should have been celebrating a fantastic result for his Everton side.

This raises the question of when should a referee blow the whistle for full time? I do not think it is right to blow the whistle exactly when the referee thinks the time has been played regardless to the position of play, due to the subjective nature of injury time allocation. I think that the rules regarding extra time should be changed regarding extra time to eliminate issues such as the one today and the confusion as to when the whistle should be blown.

I propose that the rules be changed so that injury time is decided as it is currently a minute before the end of the game and is stuck to the letter, however once the time has elapsed the game will end once the ball has gone out of play.

This is the system that is adopted in Rugby Union and is very effective whilst injuries and time wasting in injury time would not be added on it would make it clear when the game will end whilst accounting for the injuries and substitutions that slow down the game.

Ending the controversy of goals scored after the allotted injury time had elapsed and prevent incidences where the referee stops the game as a team in on the attack.

The downside to this change would be that there would be no additional time added for goals, injuries or substitutions in injury time, however this is additional time anyway and I think that clearer rules and less ambiguity would be better than the current system that breeds controversy and inconsistency.

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  1. rogers

    September 13, 2010 at 1:54 am

    was this not the same ref that allowed 7 mins of estra time whn man u played man city last season so man u can win….?
    he wasn’t afraid of ferguson, he is a man u fan and probaby on their pay roll. go check his history, he always favors man u; ignoring thier fowls, cards to thier opponents…..
    am suprise no one wants to investigate this shameful match fixing by man u.

  2. Watch Live Soccer

    September 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    it doest matter…he said the that the attempt was a tame effort so it wouldnt have mattered…

  3. Kristian Downer

    September 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

    My point was that the Everton game reminds us that the end of the game and the rules around injury time are subjective and can cause confusion and controversy.

    As said by others, it was not an important part of the game yesterday, but some consistency that is held together by a change in the rules would make things simpler without affecting 99.99% of games

  4. ian crowley

    September 12, 2010 at 5:54 am

    i dont get y were even talking about it, jagelka didnt hear the whistle so kept playing and van der sar made a comfortable save, jagelka shold be thanking the ref for saving his blushes.

  5. Tyrone

    September 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    The referee was afraid of what Ferguson would say had Everton scored on that last play which is why he blew the whistle before the play was over. Clearly Ferguson intimidates referees. Typical Manure bias.

  6. Anthony

    September 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    One thing I don’t get about Soccer, why don’t they put the time on the scoreboard and stop the clock when there is an injury, goal, or substitute. That way everybody in the stadium knows how much time is left and Fregie can’t have his watch.

  7. Jefferey Jones

    September 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    The problem is that there is no consistency in the way referees blow the whistle for full-time. Almost all referees wait for an attack to be over before blowing the whistle. Some might question if this referee was afraid of Fergie’s wrath had Everton scored on the breakaway and the clock showed more than the displayed 4 minutes played. In the EPL this is the first time I’ve seen this happen. Not saying it hasn’t happened before but I haven’t seen it before today.

  8. Bishopville Red

    September 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    The ref called it once the corner was cleared to half. Pretty common practise among referees throughout the world. No controversy except from those who wish to make some out of nothing.


  9. Guitarearl

    September 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    From 90%+ of the games I’ve seen, the referee tends to wait for a full change of possession before blowing the whistle. I didn’t see the game today since I’m travelling, so I don’t know how long it took the break to develop. It surprises me that the referee would wait until a clear scoring opportunity to call the game over.

  10. Rob McCluskey

    September 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Was it Zico who suffered from something similar to this?

    Brazil had a corner and he scored from it, but straight as the corner was kicked the ref blew for full time.

    I don’t think you can change the whole system on this one incident though, it’s not like happens all the time and even then is it right to keep the game running past added time just because a team has a good opportunity?

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